Kate Tempest's HOPELESSLY DEVOTED to Play Marlowe Studio, 7 March

Kate Tempest's HOPELESSLY DEVOTED to Play Marlowe Studio, 7 March

AWARD-winning writer Kate Tempest's new play Hopelessly Devoted will play The Marlowe Studio next month.

With an epic soundscape, Tempest's explosive new work tells the story of Chess, a prisoner with a powerful voice.

Facing a lengthy sentence, her cell mate, Serena, becomes her soul mate. But when Serena is given parole, Chess faces total isolation. Hope comes in the form of a music producer looking for a reason to love music again. She finds a powerful voice in Chess. But to harness her talent, Chess must first face her past.

Kate Tempest's incendiary new play combines gripping drama, lyrical fireworks and exhilarating live music.

Following her smash-hit playwriting debut Wasted (which played The Marlowe Studio in October), Tempest has been described as "one of the most exciting young writers working in Britain today." (The Huffington Post). Last year, Kate (26) became the first person under 40 to win the Ted Hughes Award for innovation in poetry, winning the accolade for her work Brand New Ancients.

When Tempest started writing in her mid-teens, she would push herself to perform anywhere - at grime and hip-hop nights and on the night bus home. Tempest recently performed to female inmates in Holloway prison, an experience that inspired Hopelessly Devoted, as she explains: "I wanted to connect with these women. And I felt this familiar fire that I used to feel when I was rapping - this eagerness and this sense of importance of telling and being heard."

Tempest is a writer, poet and rapper from South East London. She began at 16, rapping in battles across London, and moved into performing poetry at 21. She has performed her writing on stages all over the world, and played all the major UK and European music festivals, including Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, the Big Chill and Latitude.

Tempest has had poems commissioned by Barnado's children's charity, the BBC, Channel 4, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Amnesty International and Turner Prize winning artist Chris Offili. She is the two-times poetry slam winner at the prestigious Nu-Yorican poetry cafe in New York. Her band Sound of Rum's debut album Balance came out in 2011 on Rob Da Bank's record label Sunday Best and was nominated for the XFM New Music Award.

Hopelessly Devoted is a co-production from Paines Plough and Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Paines Plough are nationally renowned as an industry-leader in producing the very best new plays by the UK's most important playwrights. Birmingham Repertory Theatre retain a strong and unwavering commitment to supporting new work and offering audiences the chance to see exciting new theatre.

Cast includes Gbemisola Ikumelo, Cat Simmons and Michelle Gayle

Hopelessly Devoted by Kate Tempest (recommended for those aged 14 and over) is at The Marlowe Studio at 8pm on Friday 7 March. Tickets cost £12 (concessions and Discovery Tickets available). To book, call the Box Office on 01227 787787 or marlowetheatre.com.

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